Blaydes sees former interim champion Ciryl Gane as a fight that makes sense for him next, but after hearing his name is in the mix to fight Jones, he’ll be ready to face him – or serve as a backup if Jones ends up challenging heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in March.
“That’s about as far as I know, as well,” Blaydes said in an interview with Fanatics View. “But seeing as how it’s been reported by all these official MMA websites and authors, I think it’s legit, and I’m going to begin preparing when I get home after the holidays. I’ll be in champ mode or the mindset, so I’ll be ready. We’ll see what happens though.”
He continued, “I don’t mind being a backup, because you never know with Jon. You never know. I’ll be there hopefully. I’ll be on weight obviously. I’ll be ready.”
Blaydes (17-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) knows the incentive of adding a name like former light heavyweight champ Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) to his resume. But his main goal remains winning the undisputed title.
“Title shot, that’s the ultimate. Jon is just the ultimate consolation, but what you workout for everyday is the real belt, not the interim belt,” Blaydes said. “The real belt.”
Blaydes is coming off a quick TKO win over an injured Tom Aspinall in the UFC Fight Night 208 headliner in July. Prior to that, the division’s all-time leader in takedowns defeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik, followed by a Performance of the Night TKO of Chris Daukaus in Round 1.